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AOPA Online Members Only -- AOPA ePilot Custom Content --Vol. 5, Issue 34AOPA Online Members Only -- AOPA ePilot Custom Content --Vol. 5, Issue 34

The following stories from the August 22, 2003, edition of AOPA ePilot were provided to AOPA members who expressed an interest in the particular subject areas. Any AOPA member can receive information customized to their areas of interest by updating their member record file online.

My ePilot - Jet Interest
Honeywell announced that its Primus Epic integrated avionics system has received FAA certification in Gulfstream's G550 business jet. Instead of turning knobs and pushing switches, pilots will point and click for weather, terrain, traffic, and navigation information on large displays. This marks the first approval of the system for Honeywell and paves the way for it to appear in more aircraft in the future.

My ePilot - Experimental Interest
Aircraft Spruce & Specialty announced that, effective January 1, it will own the design rights to the Cozy III and Cozy MKIV experimental aircraft. Aircraft Spruce has been supplying materials kits and avionics for the aircraft since 1982. The Cozy III is a side-by-side derivative of the Long-EZ. More than 800 sets of plans have been sold for it. The four-seat Cozy MKIV has proven to be more popular with nearly 2,000 plans in circulation. For more, see the Web site.

My ePilot - Student Interest, Training Tips
How many early warning systems do you employ to stay informed of changing weather conditions during a flight? Updating your preflight briefing by contacting a flight service station by radio is always a good idea, as was described in the August 16, 2002, "Training Tips." If you are using radar flight following, any hazardous conditions developing in the area may be the subject of a broadcast alert. Another excellent source of information is the Hazardous Inflight Weather Advisory Service (HIWAS). As explained in Chapter 7 of the Aeronautical Information Manual, HIWAS is "a continuous broadcast of inflight weather advisories including summarized AWW (Severe Weather Forecast Alerts), SIGMETs, Convective SIGMETs, Center Weather Advisories (CWAs), AIRMETs, and urgent PIREPs."

HIWAS broadcasts are made over selected VORs; when you set the VOR frequency in your nav radio and turn up the volume to verify the station identifier, you will hear the continuous voice HIWAS broadcast over the Morse code or spoken station ID. Check your VFR charts for the symbol used to identify a VOR with HIWAS. Make it a practice to note the HIWAS outlets you can use during your cross-country flights. It is important to know if HIWAS is available where you fly, according to AOPA's Handbook for Pilots , because in areas where HIWAS has been commissioned, "ARTCC, terminal ATC, and FSS facilities have discontinued the broadcast of in-flight advisories." Those ATC facilities will broadcast an advisory that conditions have changed, and recommend that pilots tune in HIWAS for details. The handbook offers a complete discussion of HIWAS.

Note: Never substitute HIWAS for a full and complete preflight briefing! Conditions are far too variable, as AOPA Air Safety Executive Director Bruce Landsberg illustrates in his May 2000 "Safety Pilot" column in AOPA Pilot. Rather, use HIWAS to augment that information as one of many informational tools at your disposal. A must-read is Thomas Horne's "Weather Watch" column from the October 2001 AOPA Pilot, in which he offers a series of specific guidelines for coping with and evaluating en route weather.

As the saying goes, forewarned is forearmed. Add HIWAS to your safe-flying toolkit.

My ePilot - Training Products
Gleim Publications, Inc. has released its 2004 edition of the Federal Aviation Regulations/Aeronautical Information Manual. It retails for $15.95. The company also offers a more compact version of the venerable aviation reference, sized 7 inches wide by 9 inches tall-perfect for students, flight instructors, and any other pilot who likes to carry a copy in his or her flight bag. For more information or to order, see the Web site or call 800/874-5346 or 352/375-0772.

My ePilot - Student Interest, Final Exam
Question: If I leave a nontowered airport on a VFR flight and want to receive flight following, how do I go about getting it?

Answer: You request flight following (the proper term is "VFR traffic advisories") over the radio from Center (an air route traffic control center or ARTCC), or Approach (a terminal radar approach control or tracon). Just state your call sign and position, and the words "request VFR traffic advisories." Air traffic control (ATC) provides the service on a workload-permitting basis. If they can assist, they will assign you a transponder code and alert you to other radar-identified traffic along your route. It's a big help, particularly on nice VFR weekends when there is a lot of flying activity, as well as in hazy summer conditions when visibility is not too great at altitude. But, remember that you, the pilot, are responsible to see and avoid other traffic, terrain, and obstacles. More information on traffic advisories and talking with ATC is available in AOPA's ATC Communications subject report.

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